littoralvueduciel12routedestamarins-creditirt-emmanuelvirin.jpgLittoral vue du cielLittoral vue du ciel© Emmanuel VIRIN
© Emmanuel VIRIN
Tamarinds Road

Route des Tamarins

A remarkable route

Picturesque with forest, savannah and fauna and flora

Take the Route des Tamarins (Tamarinds Road), a highway open to traffic since 23 June 2009. It is named after the Tamarind tree, known locally as “tamarin péi”, a frequent feature of the landscape surrounding the road. 34 km long, it connects Saint-Paul and L’Etang-Salé, along the first slopes of the western highlands where the major seaside resorts of the island are found: Boucan Canot, Saint-Gilles and Saint-Leu. The ocean views are spectacular, especially at Trois-Bassins overpass, the highest point of the road.

Tips

 

Nearly 69,000 vehicles take the Route des Tamarins (Tamarinds Road) every day. Be careful. Traffic is found at:

  • Dual carriageway (2+1) Saint-Paul to the slip road of L’Eperon.
  • Dual carriageway between the slip road at L’Epéron and L’Étang-Salé.
  • Hybrid highway between Saint-Paul and L’Étang-Salé with speed limits between 90 and 110 km/h depending on the sections. With emergency lane and central reservation.

From Saint Paul to L’Etang-Salé

Before heading off on the Route des Tamarins (Tamarinds Road) , you absolutely must visit the market on the seafront in Saint-Paul. All day Friday and Saturday morning, the market displays crafts imbued with the scents of spices mixed with fruit and other local flavours: pineapple, papaya, mango, samosas, bites and more.
In 2015, Saint Paul market was awarded Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in the Outings and Attractions category.

Your journey is studded with exceptional works of art

Start in Saint-Paul in the north and head for L’Étang-Salé in the south. The route is particularly dense with a total of 123 works of art including four exceptional examples.

A diverse range of leisure activities

Take a break on the western coastal road to relax on the beach, or something more active like a swim or other water activities in the complete serenity of the preserved lagoons in Boucan Canot, L’Ermitage, Saline-les-Bains, Saint-Leu or L’Etang-Salé. Discover colourful fish in the marine nature reserve with fins, a mask and snorkel, or book a boat trip with one of the many professionals for a sunset ride, a dive, deep-sea fishing, dolphin and whale (depending on season) watching.

A wide range of attractions vary from gardens to museums: the aquarium, Jardin d’Eden, Musée de Villèle and the Chapelle Pointue, Kélonia sea-turtle observatory, Reunion Island’s botanical garden, the salt museum and Croc Parc.

Getaway to the highlands

The highlands are ideal for guided tours, easy walks, outdoor activities,  and meeting the locals and craftsmen. Musée Stella Matutina, and the islands botanical garden are definitely essential visits. Highland accommodation includes gites and guesthouses and tables d’hôte serve Reunionese cuisine with local produce and spices and sweet “péi” delicacies. 

Where is the route des tamarins ?